Real Name: Gordoni (presumably; first name unrevealed)
Occupation: Magician, escape artist, criminal
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Sheriff Aubrey Nebb
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "The Great Gordoni" (stage-name), "The Man No Bars Can Hold" (as called in newspapers)
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Mystery Tales#45/6 (September, 1956)
Powers/Abilities: Gordoni was a skilled magician and escape artist who used his talents for his criminal pursuits.
History: (Mystery Tales#45/6 (fb) - BTS) - The details of Gordoni's early life are unknown, but at some point he was apprehended by the police, placed in a prison van, and taken to the state penitentiary.
(Mystery Tales#45/6) - When the van reached the state pen, Gordoni had taken the liberty of letting himself out. He "graciously" waited for the police by the front gate of the prison, confident that he wouldn't be there long.
Angered by Gordoni's arrogance, the prison warden ordered that Gordoni be locked in the "Hole" -- although they abandoned it a long time ago, it was the only place he knew of that the magician couldn't escape from. Gordoni was confined to the underground cell, but a few days later he escaped.
During his weeks of freedom, Gordoni continued with his crime spree, but it was a combination of good detective work and Gordoni's cockiness that eventually led to his recapture.
Gordoni was placed in a cage and was soon on his way back to prison aboard a guarded mail train, but once again the elusive magician escaped by putting his legs through the bars of the cage and jumping off the train as it passed a bridge over a river. Freeing himself from the cage, Gordoni swam away to commit more crimes.
But while robbing an express office in the town of Crystal River one night, Gordoni was arrested by Sheriff Nebb, who told Gordoni that he had prepared a special cell just for him.
When word got out that the small-town sheriff had managed to hold Gordoni prisoner for nearly two weeks, police, prison officials and reporters came from all over to see how Sheriff Nebb had worked this "miracle". Nebb showed them the special cell where he had Gordoni imprisoned -- Gordoni was sitting in a pile of keys in a multi-doored cell with multiple locks. Nebb explained that he had figured out mathematically that it should take Gordoni about twenty years to find the right key to the right lock on the right door -- just about the length of his prison sentance!
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Steve Ditko.
Gordoni's first name was never revealed, but I'd say it was probably Eric (after Erich Weiss aka Harry Houdini).
For some reason, this character reminded me a little of Jim Steranko, who once worked as a magician/escape artist before he got into comics; I wonder if Steve Ditko knew Steranko at the time and was inspired to create this character?
And a BIG Thank You to Wolfs-Head Comics for scanning this story for me!
Profile by John Kaminski
The Great Gordoni has no known connections to:
Sheriff Aubrey Nebb
The sheriff of the town of Crystal River, he came up with the perfect prison cell to hold the criminal escape artist Gordoni.
Mystery Tales#45/6, p1, p1 (main image)
Mystery Tales#45 (September, 1956)
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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